Tallinn, 17 September 2019. The Prime Minister of Estonia, Mr Jüri Ratas, convened the 2019 edition of the Tallinn Digital Summit, an annual gathering of government leaders and ministers from digital-minded countries, the tech community, and influential thinkers. The 2019 Summit, which was attended by 14 EU Members States, as well as Canada, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand and Australia, focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and the global trade in data, as well as their implications for governance, economies, and societies as a whole.
Together with the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation, UNICRI led discussions on AI from a crime prevention perspective, focusing particularly on the use of AI by law enforcement and what needs to be done to foster the trust of communities being policed with new and emerging technologies. The panel was chaired by Irakli Beridze, Head, UNICRI Centre for AI and Robotics, and Steffan Ousdal, Head of the Adaptive Policing Lab, INTERPOL, and UNICRI and INTERPOL were joined by Bente Skattør, Senior ICT Advisor in the Olso Police District (OPD); Nathalie Smuha, Assistant lecturer and researcher at the KU Leuven Faculty of Law and formerly Coordinator of the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on AI; and Eleanor Hobley, Research Lead at ZITiS, Germany’s new central office for information technology in the security sphere, and the representatives of the Governments of the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Ireland.
Importance of concepts such as fairness, accountability, transparency and explainability featured heavily in the session with respect to ensuring the lawful and trustworthy use of AI. Social acceptance by the public is essential and, if law enforcement’s use of AI is not seen as both lawful and trustworthy, it can undermine fundamental principles of law, such as the presumption of innocence, privilege against self-incrimination, and proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Legal gap analysis, societal debate, priority setting, enhancing knowledge of the opportunities and pitfalls, and the malicious use of AI were also discussed.
The development of a universal set of guidelines for the lawful and trustworthy application of AI by law enforcement – initially proposed during the 2nd Global Meeting on AI for Law Enforcement organized by INTERPOL and UNICRI in July 2019 and set to be developed in connection with the next 2020 INTERPOL-UNICRI Global Meeting on AI for Law Enforcement in The Hague, the Netherlands – were presented and welcomed at the Summit.
Speaking on the issue of AI governance, Prime Minister Ratas, noted that "we must adopt a very practical approach. We need to talk about good practices and ideas worth trying out, and move forward together".